RIM Buys Ubitexx for Android, iOS Device Management

Research in Motion May 2 acquired Ubitexx to add mobile device management for Apple iOS and Google Android smartphones and tablets via one console.

ORLANDO, Fla. - Research In Motion May 2 said it acquired Ubitexx, a software maker that will enable RIM to help its enterprise customers securely manage Apple iOS and Google Android smartphones and tablets.

Financial terms of the buyout, announced at the Blackberry World developer's conference here, were not disclosed.

RIM will augment its Blackberry Enterprise Server, which acts as a gatekeeper for corporate data exchanged via Blackberry handsets, to protect Apple's iPhone and iPad, as well as Android-based Samsung Galaxy S smartphones and the Motorola Xoom and LG G-slate tablets.

From a single console, IT administrators will be able to provision software updates and manage policies, inventory, security and services for iOS and Android devices, in addition to Blackberry gadgets.

Administrators will also be able to activate devices and push software updates over the air, lock and wipe devices, reset passwords and manage certain mobile applications from the console.

RIM warned that certain management features, such as push technology and IT policies, are expected to remain exclusive to BlackBerry devices because they are built directly into a device's operating system.

Andrew Bocking, vice president of handheld software product management for RIM, said the Ubitexx buy is central to RIM's plans for a multi-platform BlackBerry Enterprise Solution intended for enterprises and government organizations.

With the buy, RIM is joining Sybase, Good Technology, Zenprise and Mobile Iron and a number of other mobile device management software makers who acknowledged the so-called consumerization of IT.

That is the idea that corporate knowledge workers insist on using their iPhones, iPads and Android devices as their primary business device.

IT administrators need to strike a balance between helping their employees use their devices of choice while protecting any proprietary, corporate data that resides on them. This challenge is what RIM intends to address with its multi-platform BlackBerry Enterprise Solution.

The multi-platform BlackBerry Enterprise Solution with iOS and Android device coverage will be available later this year. Those interested can register for a product review of it here.